You’ve graduated, what now?

stepping stones

What should be your next step?

If you have just graduated, do not yet have a job (or further study) lined up, and you are beginning to wilt in your search for employment, here are a few pointers that might help revitalise or re-position your search.

Job hunting: you have already read all the great CV writing and job-hunting tips on gradireland; registered on gradireland to receive job alerts; and utilised the gradireland Careers Report tool already, I’m sure. In which case, now might be time to reconsider your approach. Have you smartened up your online social profile (if you’ve even got one)?

To start with, create a complete and professional personal profile on LinkedIn and you have your CV on line for all to see. Then upload all of your email contacts so that you have a foundation of contacts to build upon: someone in your network might have relevant connections to give you some inside knowledge into the companies you want to work for. LinkedIn forces us all to do more research on jobs and companies. So much information is online now that it’s created an expectation that you’re doing your homework.

Internships: gradireland research has consistently found relevant work experience to be one of the most important things employers look for when recruiting graduates. But how should you go about getting a good internship? The main programmes currently running are listed below, with a brief outline on what they are, how to access them, and how they differ. Check out the relevant websites for full details.

IBEC Export Orientation Programme (EOP): this is IBEC’s graduate placement programme. This scheme allows Irish exporting companies to develop their international marketing and export capacity, while providing recent graduates of all disciplines with a valuable introduction to international business. The placement is typically twelve months duration, usually with a minimum of six months spent outside of Ireland. The EOP has a unique accreditation process and provides paid placements.

Graduates 4 International Growth programme (G4IG): this scheme is run by Enterprise Ireland and has a closing deadline of 12 August 2011 for applications. This programme places graduates with Enterprise Ireland client companies for 18 months, with a minimum 12 months spent overseas.

JobBridge: this is the new National Internship Scheme announced by the government this summer, with 5,000 six-to-nine month placements available. Eligible interns will receive an allowance of €50 per week on top of their existing social welfare entitlement, payable for the period of the internship. In order to be eligible an individual must be currently in receipt of a live claim (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/Signing for Credits) on the Live Register, and have been in receipt of this claim for a total of three months or more in the last six months.

FÁS Work Placement Programme (WPP): this scheme offers the chance to keep your skills fresh in a real work environment. Anyone who is unemployed is eligible to apply for the Work Placement Programme. If you are a graduate with a level 7 qualification you can apply for both the graduate placements and the non-graduate placements. Otherwise, you can apply for all non-graduate placements. The placement is unpaid. However, if you are already in receipt of certain social welfare payments, you may be allowed to retain your payment while on a placement.

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